Apple’s App Store, well known for its tight strictures and uptight policies regarding the iPhone applications it chooses to accept, has stepped in it this time.
The Baby Shaker, a $.99 application for the iPhone that requires users to shake their phone in order to quiet crying babies, incited outrage from brain injury organizations and children’s groups, causing it to be removed two days after its release.
“See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!’ read the iTunes description.
Apple has apologized for the mistake, though they have yet to address how Baby Shaker, created by Sikalosoft, made it into the App Store in the first place.
“This application was deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store,” Apple said in a statement.Â
Visit the Sikalosoft web site and you will find a statement acknowledging the app’s poor taste, ‘Yes, the Baby Shaker iPhone app was a bad idea. You should never shake a baby! Even on an Apple iPhone Baby Shaking application. In case you are unaware Baby Shaker was an Apple iPhone application that was greatly lacking in taste. It was approved by Apple for download upon the iPhone’.
Apple reviews hundreds of apps every day, a number that argues for the occasional error in judgment, and their quick action to remove the game bodes well for their reputation. Yet the choice to approve the game in the first place points out a glaring flaw in their procedures ‘“ ‘bad taste’ may have a variety of definitions depending on the audience, but when in doubt, error on the side of caution.Â
Never, ever shake a baby. And while we realize that a game is just that – a game, the inference that there is something entertaining about the act is enough, in our opinion, to justify the removal of this app.
The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome lists multiple consequences of shaking a baby, from seizures and permanent brain damage to death. With close to 1,500 U.S. children experiencing severe or fatal head trauma from child abuse every year, we’d rather see applications underlining proper education. Rock your child to sleep, don’t shake it to death.